It feels like years since I last started writing something on here and despite how full my drafts are with half written blogs and ideas, I guess life just sort of got in the way. Yet now I’m here with what feels like all the time in the world and so it just makes sense to try and get back into what I love doing in my spare time. So she’s bored and she’s back.
As we all know, reality is quite frightening and unsettling right now due to the uncertainty and severity of COVID-19 and it is so important to maintain a level of positivity whilst staying at home. Whilst I know that is much easier said than done for some and I have definitely had some days where emotions were high and cabin fever was really settling in, which is totally ok too. I find it really difficult to stay cooped up at home for too long, especially since I’m so used to being on my feet all day at work. I’ve been finding myself really struggling to find things to do to pass the time and there is only so much banana bread and fancy iced coffee you can make.
Whilst I am aware that my opinion is futile and that I am by no means an expert when it comes to giving advice, as someone who is simply going through exactly what you are going through right now, I thought it would be productive and encouraging to share some ways of maintaining self care. Prioritising yours and others physical health by staying inside is obviously of the upmost importance right now but so is your happiness. As I said, staying inside can get pretty dull and not everyone is lucky to be surrounded by a full household right now and so its just as much about keeping yourself happy as it is healthy. From exercise to skincare, these actions are easy doses of contentment to keep yourself feeling positive throughout these scary times. So before I go all ‘mind, body and soul’ on you all, here is some of my advice, suggestions and personal anecdotes from what I’ve been up to lately to keep my furloughed-self sane.
Firstly, I will admit that yes, I did spend two hours looking at £25 million townhouses in North London on Rightmove last night out of sheer boredom before moving onto houses in the Hollywood hills that I can only dream of if I do end up marrying Zac Efron one day (we can only hope and pray). I may have also watched every ‘Celebrity Open Door’ video on Architectural Digest’s YouTube channel and re-watched every ’73 Questions’ with Vogue but that’s ok, the time has to be passed somehow right? If you’re going to binge-watch something, now is technically the time. Disney+ has just launched for gods sake, if you aren’t currently watching the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe or The Suite Life of Zack and Cody from start to finish, what else could you possibly be doing?
However, it is still great to fit in some exercise between series to series, whether that be a short walk, a quick run or an at home workout. Even if you don’t have any equipment at home and have to use a tin of chopped tomatoes as a weight (we’ve all done it), it all counts. I’ve been taking advantage of my permitted daily exercise outdoors with long walks around my village and the gorgeous surrounding area which I am extremely thankful for, I even do it without bumping into a soul sometimes. However you choose to spend your daily time outdoors, utilise that time as much as you can for that fresh air as it is a real mood booster.
Some apps I’ve been using lately to monitor my exercise would be MapMyRun and MyFitnessPal, which are great for achieving physical and nutritional goals sensibly too. I’ve also been slowly attempting Couchto5K and since I am not a strong runner, the app has been amazing so far for boosting my confidence and helping me literally get off the couch and avoid sitting on my arse for a bit. For home workouts, I usually just turn to YouTube for anything from abs to cardio but I have also recently downloaded FitOn, a free app that includes live hosted workouts everyday, personalised fitness plans and videos to target whichever part of your body you choose. Exercise is probably the highlight of my day right now, as I know it is for many others and so I am slowly but surely working towards some new goals. Hitting new targets is such a great way to make yourself feel brilliant and even if its seems like a small achievement, its a big deal for you!
I am also using this time to focus on what I am eating and getting back to cooking healthy summer dishes now that the warmer weather is here. I’ve been putting more thought into breakfast and lunch, thinking of different ideas for healthy dinners and baking more than I ever thought I would in my life – sign me up to Bake Off. As someone who can be quite the lazy chef, I thought this was a great opportunity to invest my time into trying out new dishes and its turning out to be something I really enjoy – my Nana will be so proud. I usually turn to BBC Good Food for any new recipes and I would definitely recommend trying out the Creamy Tomato Courgetti or the Chicken Satay Salad.
It’s not all about health though! I made a delicious coffee cake loaf the other day with all the coffee buttercream icing you can imagine and not only was I proud that I actually baked something edible, it was great to be a little indulgent after having been so focused on what I’m eating lately. Indulgence makes us just as happy as a healthy diet, so do make sure you are treating yourself every now and then.
Now when it comes to beauty and skincare, I have been turning my little one bedroom flat into a sanctuary spa to earn some major relaxation points. Feeling relaxed will help you feel just as content as doing something active will. Its so important to have a good balance of both! Light some candles, run yourself a bubble bath and pour yourself a glass of wine. Get that book out that you’ve always wanted to read but never had chance to and just set aside any worries or anxieties you may have. I also find cleaning extremely therapeutic and have been rearranging my wardrobe most evenings and getting the hoover out several times a week. Again, you have the time, so why not?
When it comes to treating myself to some fabulous skin treatment, a Garnier Moister Bomb Tissue Mask is my obvious first choice and they’re always in stock in most supermarkets these days so I always remember to pick some up when I do go food shopping. I swear by these things for feeling refreshed and hydrated, especially when its warm and you’ve had the sun on your face all day. However, my go-to skincare brand is and always will be Olay. All I need is three things to get my face feeling smooth and like I’ve just treated myself to a facial: the Cleansing Facial Wash, the 2in1 Cleanser and toner and the holy grail of moisturisers, Olay’s Beauty Fluid.
I’ve also just ordered a new BaByliss Curling Wand which was on offer on ASOS for those days when you just feel like doing a full face of make-up and popping a cute outfit on just to feel some sort of normality. Whereas most days I am just about awake by 10am and showering only to get back into my pyjamas, but that is just as comforting too. Sometimes you need to push pack the guilt of staying in bed all day to watch Netflix if it is what is making you feel happiest that day. That is what I am trying to embrace.
So before I go back to watching Gossip Girl for the 1000th time, I just wanted to end on a more serious note and reminder…
Please remember that at the end of the day, solidarity is what will see us all through these terrible times. Do as you’re told and stay inside, continue to socially distance appropriately and stay healthy. To all of the amazing NHS staff, health workers, emergency services and anyone who is in a essential line of work – we continue to applaud you and will be forever thankful for your bravery and amazing worth ethic – we’ll get through this. So, thank you so very much.